Review: Mercy Falls by William Kent Kreuger

Mercy Falls by William Kent Kreuger

Series: Cork O’Connor #5

Genre: Mystery, Police Procedural

Setting: Minnesota and Chicago

Source: Audiobook, Library; 11 hours, 32 minutes

Narrator: David Chandler

Publishing Date: 2005

434 pages

Synopsis: Back in the saddle as sheriff of Tamarack County, Cork O’Connor is lured to the nearby Ojibwe reservation on what appears to be a routine call — only to become the target of sniper fire. Soon after, he’s called to investigate a mutilated body found perched above the raging waters of Mercy Falls. The victim is Eddie Jacoby, a Chicago businessman negotiating an unpopular contract between his management firm and the local Indian casino. Sparks fly when the wealthy Jacoby family hires a beautiful private investigator to consult on the case. But once Cork discovers an old and passionate tie between one of the Jacoby sons and his own wife, Jo, he begins to suspect that dark, personal motives lurk behind recent events. Murder, greed, sex, and jealousy hide around every corner in this maze of danger. But somewhere beneath the turbulent Mercy Falls lies the truth — and Cork is determined to find it….

My thoughts

This book was like riding a roller coaster…just when I thought the mystery was solved and it was winding up something more happens and I’m chugging back up a hill again and then racing down the other side. This happened to me several times and I’m still not sure the mystery is completely solved!

Once again sheriff

Cork is the sheriff of Tamarack County again and he has changed some of the department policies. As the book opens one of his deputies is questioning why the sheriff has changed the policy that he ride along on most calls to the reservation. A few minutes later they come under sniper fire and are fighting for their lives. And so begins a book full of twists and turns. I’m not going to say too much more about the book except that this is a great series and I think Mercy Falls is my favorite so far! There’s a lot of suspense as the story rolls along and Cork and the other law enforcement officers try to figure out why everything happens. Is everything connected, and, if so, how’s it connected?

A good listen

I listened to the audiobook and even though it’s over 11 hours long I listened to almost all of it in a day! The narrator is David Chandler and I think he does a good job. I’ve listened to several of the books in this series that he narrates and he makes the characters come alive in my imagination.

Bottom line

I have taken my time reading these books over the last couple of years, because I like them so much. It’s hard when I run out of books in a series even if it just means waiting for a year or so for the next one. However, as soon as I ended this book I had to go and get the next in the series since Mercy Falls ends on a bit of a cliffhanger!

My Rating: A-

Narrator Rating: B+

Have you read any books by this author?

Awards

  • Barry Award Nominee for Best Novel (2006)
  • Anthony Award for Best Novel (2006)

Reading Challenges

  • 52 books in 52 weeks hosted by the mommymannegren.com blog — An audiobook
  • The Backlist Reader Challenge hosted by Lark @ The Bookwyrm’s Hoard
  • Cloak and Dagger Reading Challenge hosted by Stormi @ Books, Movies, Reviews! Oh My! & Barb @ Book T’s Farm
  • Library Love Challenge hosted by the Angel’s Guilty Pleasures blog
  • Review Writing Challenge hosted by Shari @ Delighted Reader blog

Review: Blood Hollow by William Kent Kreuger

Blood Hollow by William Kent Kreuger

Blood Hollow by William Kent Kreuger

Series: Cork O’Connor #4

Genre: Mystery

Setting: Northern Minnesota

Source: Audiobook, Library (11 hours, 15 hours)

Narrator: David Chandler

Publishing Date: 2004

512 pages

Synopsis: When the corpse of a beautiful high school student is discovered on a hillside four months after her disappearance on New Year’s Eve, all evidence points to her boyfriend, local bad boy Solemn Winter Moon. Despite Solemn’s self-incriminating decision to go into hiding, Cork O’Connor, Aurora, Minnesota’s former sheriff, isn’t about to hang the crime on a kid he’s convinced is innocent. In an uphill battle to clear Solemn’s name, Cork encounters no shortage of adversity. Some — like bigotry and bureaucracy — he knows all too well. What Cork isn’t prepared for is the emergence of a long-held resentment from his own childhood. And when Solemn reappears, claiming to have seen a vision of Jesus Christ in Blood Hollow, the mystery becomes thornier than Cork could ever have anticipated. And that’s when the miracles start happening….

My thoughts

I read the first three of this series in 2017 and really liked them. I’ve meant to get back to the series and finally did. I listened to the audiobook and though it was 11 hours long it only took about three days to finish it! The narrator is great and the mystery is very good. It kept me guessing! Just like Cork I had many suspects throughout the course of the book!

The setting in the series is also one I really like. The books take place in northern Minnesota among lakes and forests. The main character is the former sheriff of his county and is part Irish and part Ojibwe Indian. The Ojibwe people and culture play a big part in these books and I love that. Cork O’Connor is very human, makes mistakes, but has strong ethical beliefs. He was raised Catholic, but no longer goes to church. Things happened in earlier books that caused him to doubt the existence of God. This book really explores different beliefs as well as miracles and spirituality. What is real when it comes to God? And how do we really know? How do we interpret “signs” from God? Are they real or not? Is God real? I like how this book talks about these things during the course of this mystery without preaching and without taking anything away from the mystery.

I also like that these books have lots about the relationships of the characters–especially Cork’s family. They have their ups-and-downs in and they’re not perfect, but they love each other. Cork has Ojibwe friends as well as white friends. There are tensions between the two groups of people in this book (as in earlier books), but Cork tries to have good relations with both groups.

I recommend this series if you like mysteries set in interesting places along with compelling characters and ideas.

My Rating: B+

Narrator Rating: B+

Awards

Anthony Award for Best Novel (2005)

Have you read any books by this author?

Reading Challenges

Cloak and Dagger Reading Challenge hosted by Stormi @ Books, Movies, Reviews! Oh My!

POPSUGAR Reading Challenge hosted by the POPSUGAR website — A book I borrowed (from the library)